By Heather Goldin, Staff Writer
In the past, guns have symbolized anything from protection and freedom to a terrible evil. But as far as I can tell, in 2013, guns seem to have been more of a tool for violence than anything else.
Obama’s gun control agenda includes many ways to eliminate gun-related crimes. One solution proposed is financing officer-training programs on how to respond to active armed attacks.
My concern is that officers won’t be properly trained for the rare occasion that a fellow officer is the one shooting.
Ill-preparedness for such circumstances seems to have been what happened in the case of former LAPD officer Christopher Dorner, who was fired after filing a fake police report against his training officer.
This reaction from Dorner resulted in an online revenge plan involving other LAPD officers and even their families.
You could imagine the horror when a plot straight of Law and Order: SVU appeared on the headlines of most major newspapers in the nation.
On Feb. 3, Dorner murdered the daughter of former LAPD Captain Quan and her fiancé to get back at Quan for not defending him at his hearing in 2008 for the accused fake report. From there a manhunt for Dorner ensued, but before he could be tracked down Dorner had already killed a Riverside police officer by the name of Michael Crain on February 7th.
Fast forward to a cabin in Big Bear, CA where a police force has Dorner surrounded. The search for Dorner ended here after Dorner drove to the scene in an SUV belonging to the owners of a vacant cabin Dorner was hiding out in until the owners came back. Dorner tied up Karen and Jim Reynolds before he stole their car.
According to CBS, a shoot out between ex-officer Dorner and police officers in Big Bear resulted in the killing of a deputy sheriff before Dorner killed himself with a single bullet . At that point, the location was already on fire, after officers tried to obstruct Dorner’s vision with a combination of smoke bombs and tear gas. Although the fire was not intentional, it did stop a man from taking revenge on a lengthy list of LAPD cops.
Still, according to USA Today, many that engage in social media are protesting; sympathizing with Dorner and saying they believed his claims that he faced racism and was treated unfairly. Thankfully, they don’t actually agree with his violent actions. Some supporters even went so far as to protest outside of the LAPD office last Saturday. Dorner seemed to be just an average, all around good person, which lends sympathy to his case.
Either way, the horrendous shooting spree ended with suicide by gunshot. Hopefully, new gun control policies can help to eliminate such tragic occurrences.
By Samantha Wong, Staff Writer
The description reads, ‘Have you ever seen the movie Accepted? We’re like that but with more bananas.’ Like it says in its description, Banana University is a Facebook page, a Twitter and a Tumblr that hosts photos of Boston University students–eating bananas.
Banana University is a simple idea that ends up, after scrolling through countless photos of Boston University’s banana eaters, as a good source of entertainment. Why? Pictures upon pictures of people eating bananas becomes, in a word, awkward.
Boston University’s candid addition, which made its debut earlier this month, has become somewhat of a sensation among students. Most students are happy, proud even, to have their photos as contributions to the site, whether or not they were aware that their photos were being taken.
Bryan Cosca, CAS ‘14, one of the depicted banana-eaters says, “I think it’s funny that I’m on Banana University, I think the page is great and shows off the candid side of students we don’t normally see. It’s [also] hilarious seeing other people eating bananas.”
The hilarity from Banana University may or may not have something to do with innuendo, but regardless, Banana University is definitely becoming a household (or dorm-hold?) name.
By Olivia DeFrances, Staff Writer
It’s that time of year again–Valentine’s Day. And whether it’s out of the kindness of your heart or pressure from a significant other, you probably will end up buying a gift for that special someone. If you do, it’s best to give a gift with meaning; something that pertains to their interests rather than the typical roses or chocolate. It’ll show that you really care, that you have been paying attention to that person, rather than just trying to get out of the dog house. Here are the top ten strangest, funniest, or downright rejection-worthy Valentine ’s Day gifts:
- When your significant other says that you don’t have to get them anything, they’re just trying to sound cute and modest. Don’t surprise them with nothing. “Look honey! I got you nothing, just like you asked!” You laugh now, but people actually do this.
- Anything that sings – whether it is a card or you go all the way and hire someone to surprise them at work. Nothing is more embarrassing than having “I WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU” belted at you from an inanimate object or a guy in a cupid suit.
- Houseware. Seriously, if you’re trying to tell them they need to clean more, don’t do it on Valentine ’s Day. Nothing says “I love you” less than oven mits, a new vacuum, or a laundry basket, no matter how good the intentions are.
- Personal grooming objects. Ew. It’s sketchy and slightly offensive.
- A break up. It’s surprising, actually, the amount of people who break up ON Valentine’s Day. Kind of ironic. Maybe that was their intention? I don’t know. Just don’t do it. You will scar the other person for life.
- Cheap, tacky jewelry. Seriously, guys, if you’re going to go for the jewelry, just go all out. A grown woman will not appreciate plastic hearts from Claire’s.
- If you’re not serious yet and you get them some sort of distinctively intimate gift to insinuate being serious….well, just don’t do it. Nothing says creepy like a photo album full of each others’ baby photos after a few weeks.
- Cheap sidewalk stand flowers. She can tell. She can always tell. And always make sure that she’s not allergic if you go with real, good flowers. Because a severe allergic reaction was not your intended gift. And if it was, it’s time to re-think the relationship!
- A movie date- to a movie only you want to see.
- Boxer briefs.
One last tip: If you’re in a relationship, don’t worry too much. You should show your love for each other every day, not just today. And if you’re single, congratulations! You don’t have to deal with any of this nonsense.
By Brandon Lewis, Staff Writer
Every year the Super Bowl ignites national frenzy amongst sports fans. Those who can’t watch the football championship live watch it from the comfort of their living room sofas. The perks of the later option: the entertaining commercials. This year my favorite ad was the Best Buy commercial featuring the comedian and actress Amy Poehler. The commercial commences when a sales representative asks Poehler whether she needs assistance. Then Poehler goes on to ask awkward questions about the merchandise such as, “Will this one read Fifty Shades of Grey to me in a sexy voice?” The funny thing is that Poehler’s concerns are questions that us customers really want to ask but usually don’t. Like Poehler, I always wondered what makes a smart TV “smart.” And admit it, you do too. Best Buy effectively portrays the message that they have the answers to all the customers’ questions, even the unconventional ones.
By Heather Goldin, Staff Writer
We all love trashy teen movies, but why does it seem to be like the next career move for recently “graduated” Disney Channel stars? Is it really the smartest way to go? Actresses Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens seem to think so, judging by their decision to star in “Spring Breakers.” Directed by KIDS writer Harmony Korine, “Spring Breakers” is a movie about every way that spring break can go wrong, in the worst possible way. Between the guns, drugs and girls in bikinis, there isn’t any cliche that this movie doesn’t cover. It kind of makes me feel bad for all the parents that will have to explain to their children why they aren’t allowed to see the film starring their former Disney idols.
What inspired these previous Disney stars to go to such lengths to change their public image? Perhaps they were following the lead of former Disney child-stars (like Britney and Miley) whose careers quickly took a turn for the scandalous. Regardless, it seems Hudgens and Gomez are determined to change the way the world views them, and fast. Some even speculate that Korine chose the girls specifically for an added shock factor. To make things more interesting, the cast also includes “Pretty Little Liars” star Ashley Benson, actor James Franco (complete with cornrows and a glimmering grill), and Korine’s wife, Rachel.
The movie seems to have a Project X-like quality to it, with less partying and more trouble making. I have a feeling, however, that it will remain the must-see movie for Spring Break.
I am still curious as to why more and more adolescent celebrities are so eager to jump on the controversial bandwagon. Do they think they need to prove to the world that they are capable of more than cheesy family entertainment? I don’t understand why they can’t switch up their roles in a less dramatic way, such as signing on to a PG-13 that doesn’t involve nudity, illegal substances, etc. Maybe even a movie with a valid, well-written plot.
Or better yet, why can’t they be happy with their success on shows aimed at younger audiences? Can you ever have too much of a good thing? I understand that in the entertainment industry sometimes you have to be a little selfish. But I think the celebrities should be a little courteous and give their fan base more notice before doing a 180.
After all, the fans are really what drive a star’s career. If everyone hates the actor, then they are far less likely to book another job in the future. The saying goes that any publicity is better than no publicity, but that can only carry someone so far. Speaking from the perspective of someone with younger siblings, I know if they catch word about this new movie they will be wondering when they can see it. Sorry girls, you can’t watch the people you look up to in their most recent movie because they smoke, swear, and strip their way through this new blockbuster.
Check out the preview and see what you think:
By Jasmine Ferrell, Staff Writer
Yesterday, the Daily Free Press reported this summer construction will begin on a new Taco Bell under Warren Towers. This is monumental. A reintroduction into the family of BU connected restaurants is not to be ignored, especially when it’s of the taco variety. Then again, perhaps we should really look into this returner and make sure it’s worthy of its old spot.
And wouldn’t you know it? Taco Bell has a few skeletons in its closet, the most recent being a scandalous commercial meant to air during the super bowl. This commercial called for an actress to bring a veggie tray to a super bowl party. As she was greeted at the door, a voice over stated that her action was “a cop out” and that people will “secretly hate you for it.” To many, this was seen as Taco Bell promoting its hate for vegetables. After so many write-ins and complaints they had to pull it.
Hmm, that’s a bit far-fetched. In my personal opinion, this idea of veggie trays being a bit lack luster is a common truth. Don’t get me wrong, I’m usually the one in the corner obsessively dipping my carrot sticks, but compared to a platter of tacos….eh, you can tell which one will be the more exciting donation. Also, not that it matters much but there are some vegetables present in a standard taco, though they may be without much nutritional value. And one last point: this is a super bowl ad. Can we expect that much from it?
In the end, the multitude of people got so worked up over the supposed veggie discrimination won’t stop Taco Bell from coming back to BU. Perhaps in the spirit of good-will we can all pitch in and get them a veggie tray for the grand opening.
The infamous, “veggie-hating” ad, pulled from TV after much controversy.
By Maya Devereaux, Staff Writer
Embroiled in the uphill battle against today’s Digital Age, book retailer Barnes & Noble Inc. is set to close up to one-third of its stores over the next 10 years, according the Wall Street Journal. With a few exceptions, most of us live within 15 miles of a Barnes & Noble. As someone who lives literally five minutes away from the closest branch, I try to picture what life would be like without it there and instantly feel lost. Barnes & Noble has been such a convenient and pleasant place to study, meet up with friends, grab a coffee, kill time and of course, buy books! Aside from the regular retail stores are the college stores that I’m sure have come to the rescue on multiple occasions.
Barnes & Noble has halted store openings and will increase closings mainly due to consumers’ new preference to digital books (WSJ).
But what about the Nook? Isn’t that helping the retailer?
Well, despite the seemingly smart move of releasing its own e-reader, Barnes & Noble has been in a race with fierce competitors Amazon.com Inc. and Apple Inc., who are respectively intensifying the competition with the newest version of the Kindle and the iPad.
If the upcoming wave of Barnes & Noble store closures is any indication of the future of print, then it’s not looking good. Nevertheless, the book retailer still remains “comfortably profitable,” according to the Wall Street Journal. And furthermore, there are still many people out there who still love their hard copy of a novel and are not looking to change over any time soon.
By Amira Francis, Staff Writer
Boston has been clamoring for T changes for quite awhile now and, (hopefully) the Department of Transportation will be making those changes in the near future. Every student’s dream has finally come true: late night T rides back home on the weekends instead of travelling the distance by foot. Finally! No longer will you have to leave the party early so that you can catch the train.
What will this do for Boston? Personally, I think it will mean a huge boost for the quality of Boston’s nightlife. I’m under 21 so I don’t really have any perspective on the clubs and bars of Boston, but I can tell you that walking around the streets of Boston late at night can be not only depressing, but at times, unsettling. There aren’t a lot of people out and about, there aren’t a lot of shops or even food places open. It may be a stretch to say this, but: maybe later T operating hours will encourage all of Boston to stay open late at night. Maybe, someday, Boston will be a thriving nightlife metropolis. Like Chicago. Or New York. (Okay, dream big.)
Not only will late night T hours make Boston more fun to travel through at night, but it will also make Boston a lot safer. Of course, it probably won’t affect criminals in any direct way, but it will give you an opportunity to take the T home rather than wandering through some of the more dangerous streets around. And with all of the stabbings, shootings and robberies – I’m sure everyone will appreciate a chance to avoid getting attacked on the walk home.
In addition to the extended operating hours, the Department of Transportation is also using 2.4 billion dollars over the next 10 years to replace train cars and 850 million dollars to replace buses. I have high hopes for Boston as a changing city. Boston is known as a city marked by its history, but hopefully, within the next 10 years, we can encourage the change needed to help keep Boston up-to-date. Chicago and New York are great, but if Boston has the history, culture, and nightlife? I think there will be no comparison.
By Margaret Waterman, Associate Campus Editor
Vindicating dog-lovers and cat-haters all over the world, the BBC World Service dropped this bombshell Tuesday Jan. 29:
Cats are responsible for between 1.4 and 3.7 billion bird and between 6.9 and 20.7 billion mammal deaths annually.
The BBC article went on to claim that our furry feline friends are not only vicious killers, but cumulatively are responsible for more animal deaths than road related accidents, animals’ collisions with buildings or animal poisonings.
Don’t worry, though–the article, while harshly critical of kitties, offered deeply insightful solutions to this furry flurry. An expert from the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute suggested keeping domesticated cats indoors as opposed to letting them roam free out in the wild. A spokeswoman from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said putting a bell on your cat’s collar would decrease its chance of success while hunting by at least 33%.
However, the article also said feral and stray cats were by far the leading cause of mammal and bird deaths. The American Robin, in particular, is most at risk of all birds, while mice, shrews, voles, rabbits and squirrels were most likely to be kitty-killed.
After some (probably too much) thought, I suddenly had an epiphany and, amazingly, the answer to the problem.
Which leads me to believe there is only one solution, and it does not involve the disownment of your little Garfield, Crookshanks or Sylvester: instead of giving up our pets, we must get MORE cats.
It only makes sense that, if feral or stray cats are the leading perpetrator in bird and small mammal murders nationwide, that we domesticate them all and stick bells on their collars.
This solution, while stunningly brilliant, only caused me to demand answers to other questions. Why a study about the negative impacts of cats? More specifically and more importantly, what’s so wrong with your cat protecting you from rodents?
Either way, we should all take a minute to reflect upon the needless, tragic deaths of billions and billions of bird and small mammal deaths across the country by bowing our heads in a moment of silence.
By Heather Goldin, Staff Writer
The Lonely Island takes the popular phrase “Yolo,” to another extreme in their new song featuring Adam Levine and Kendrick Lamar. Although, The Lonely Island’s song is more accurately described as the anti-yolo. It’s actually a humorous guide to protecting your life as much as possible.
The satiric song sums up its message at the end: “You Outa Look Out,” which seems to be the band’s revised version of the acronym we are so used to hearing as a disclaimer to stupidity.
I suppose what The Lonely Island is getting at is that there is a balance between taking no chances in life, and throwing your life away by taking too large a risk. Though sung in jest, the song is actually right. You only live once, so in general, you should probably be more careful than careless.
Know your own limits, because YOLO.